Oct 29, 2011

Various Stories in Turkish Bollywood

Stories Apart Kuloglu in Beyoglu, Istanbul, the entrance door.
Photo: İlke Erten.

Being a witness in a wedding requires you to be both “in charge” as well as enjoy it till you drop. Having moved to suburbia recently, this meant I had to spend the night in the city for my best friend’s wedding. As I was going to be out late I also needed some comfort for the hang-over and tired feet next day. I therefore started to look for a place to provide just that. In other words, the place had to spoil me, make me feel good while at the same time be close to everything.

On the left of the entrance of Stories Apart Kuloglu is a waterfall.
Photo: İlke Erten.

I picked Stories Apart Kuloğlu, one of the three boutique hotels under the “Stories” concept in Taksim/Beyoglu area that opened 6,5 months ago. The fourteen rooms building in Ayhan Işık Sokak (named after an old Turkish film star) used to be a French school dorm. The tastefully decorated room is ideal for “no-breakfast necessary” Europeans since breakfast is offered in the other Stories Kumbaracı building. If you skip breakfast at the establishment, it is available at any place on Istiklal Street. If you like, you can still start the day with an espresso from the coffee machine in your room. What I liked the most was, however, the bathroom with the wooden floors in the shower and the sewing kit that had nice details such as make up remover cottons and nail file for forgetful female guests like myselfJ.

This is my deluxe room at Stories Apart Kuloglu in Istanbul.
Photo: İlke Erten.

As I was offered a discounted price under a media tariff, I was able to also visit the rooms at the other two Stories. Stories Apart Karakol in Sadri Alışık Sokak (another Turkish film star) is definitely located in a more interesting part among the three buildings since it is twenty meters away from transvestite and other dive bars (next to the police station) that make that part of the neighborhood more exciting. Rooms there can be a little noisy in the weekends given the central location but it can also offer a live experience of street life. And in case you are wondering about street names with film stars, bare in mind that the first film companies in Turkey were established in Beyoglu (Yesilcam Sokak) very close to the location of these two hotels.

A view from the bathroom at Stories Apart Kuloglu
 with  the all inclusive kit on the left.
Photo: İlke Erten.

Lastly, there is Stories Kumbaracı which is larger and more upscale than the two Stories. This building was also a dorm and is located right next to Asmalımescit, the mecca of night life in Istanbul these days. What is more, the terrace rooms of Stories Kumbaracı have not only nice views but can host 4-5 people which is ideal for group of friends that can still have decent price as well as privacy and central location. 

From the days when Stories Apart Kuloglu was a French school.

Photo: İlke Erten.

It is funny that the wedding made it visible how the Beyoglu district is being gentrified from lush Bollywood bars and old Jesuit schools to renovated boutique hotels. Finally much nicer accommodation alternatives are emerging rivaling the tourist trap called the Old City! For more info, click here.